Stanford University has something very interesting called the Standford Forgiveness Projects, which as of 2010 was headed by Dr. Frederic Luskin. According to Dr. Luskin:
Forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt, depression and stress and lead to greater feelings of optimism, hope, compassion and self confidence.
Those who know me well know that I am an evangelist for forgiveness. My personal belief in it probably goes all the way back to my Catholic upbringing, but I think it’s extremely important in all walks of life, including the workplace.
On his website, Dr. Luskin includes the results of a corporate pilot his organization conducted, which taught techniques for forgiveness as a part of a series of interpersonal workshops:
Results showed gross dealer concession (sales) increased for the first group of advisors an average of 18%, for the second group of advisors an average increase of 24%, for the third group an average of 24%, for the fourth group of advisors an average of 46%, for the fifth group an average of 25% for the sixth group an average increase of 14% and for the seventh group 30%.
Quality of life, anger and physical vitality measures also demonstrated statistically significant beginning to end positive change.
Forgiveness is powerful. If you’re interesting in learning more, PsychologyTools.org has some tools and materials on its website.
Rule #1: Everyone is broken. Everyone.
Corollary: They will make mistakes.
Ergo: Forgive them.
Easier said than done, but holding on to expectations for perfection will only leave a person frustrated.